Turkish "Peace Spring" and victims have not born yet

Turkish "Peace Spring" and victims have not born yet
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Joanna a nickname for a woman who hides her identity was over the moon when she found out that she was pregnant with a baby boy, after five years of waiting, after their first girl. Her doctor had informed her right before she and her family were displaced from the Syrian city of Tal El-Abyad on the Syrian-Turkish border. The Turkish army attacked the city with the Syrian Islamic militant forces, known as the "Syrian National Army", on the 9th of October 2019.


Joanna, who is in her thirties, says: "Things were fine, and I didn't feel worried before the Turkish army and its jihadists attacked the city. But after the city was bombed, at 4 o'clock that day, I was very afraid and anxious, even though we managed to escape during the early hours. Days after my displacement, I felt my health plummeting. The doctor in the city of Kobani, where I was, told me my pregnancy might be weak."


"About a month after we arrived Kobani, my poor living conditions, moving and searching for a house to shelter me with my family further worsened my health and I lost my fetus". Joanna currently seems to be suffering from chronic depression after losing her pregnancy and being told that her possibility of getting pregnant again is low.


According to the administration of the "Aykor obstetric hospital" in Kobani, there had been nearly 80 miscarriages since the massive Turkish offensive against the mainly Kurdish Syrian cities on the border with Turkey, in a series of attacks which Ankara calls the "spring of peace".



"Most of the miscarriage cases I encountered here in the hospital were of displaced women from the cities of Tall al-Abyab and Ein Issa." says Dr. Nissan Ahmed, hospital director and women's medical specialist.


The doctor confirmed that these spontaneous abortions are mostly caused by psychological tension and anxiety due to instability and excessive movement. It is also important to mention that 12 cases of early births were documented, most of them of displaced women caused by the same reasons, according to the doctor.


"We have faced three very serious cases of miscarriages," said Dr. Nissan, "One was a rupture in the womb," he said, noting that "The pregnant woman was in a clash area, the labor was late at night, and because of her inability and fear of leaving the area, she endured pain until the early morning hours. When she finally arrived at the hospital afterwards, she had a rupture in her womb, so doctors had to remove it completely."


"The other two cases were placental separation which led to the death of two fetuses. Excessive movement, fear and psychological trauma were among the reasons for this." the doctor revealed.


On his part, the radiologist Mohammad Aref Ali confirms that the death of fetuses or what is called scientifically "the death of a confined pregnancy" has become apparent in the region after the recent Turkish invasion.

Most who visit his center, the doctor adds, lose their fetuses as a result of their being affected by the war and violent conflict in the region.


"Moreover, there have been a lot of cases of induced abortions, and many women visit the center to check the fetus vitality before, as the law prevents abortion after the onset of fetal heart pulse, known as "starting vitality".



Syrian law punishes woman trying to abort with a 6-month to 3-years prison sentence if her fetus didn’t die. This penalty is also increased to 4 to 7 years' imprisonment if the baby died. Imprisonment and hard labor are also added to the sentence.


One of the women who we met at the medical center commented on the cases of induced abortion: "Poor living conditions, high prices alongside instability, fear of displacement, and the persistent Turkish threat to possibly invade the region again - all of this is forcing women to get rid of pregnancies as we are already unable to secure the needs and requirements of our children and to protect them".


This woman, who refused to give her name, did not reveal whether she decided to keep her baby or not. She also indicated that she was pregnant with a fetus "that came in an inappropriate time", according to her statement.

Doctor Na'san Ahmed reveals in this regard that there is a big difference in the number of births between 2018 and 2019 especially in the last three months, during the period of the Turkish attack on the area, apart from the small number of births in the hospital, there were large cases of early or premature births, most of them were in their seventh month, and a number of cases in the eighth month of birth."


"We in the hospital administration with the rest of the doctors in private clinics refuse to perform abortions, which is called "criminal abortion". This causes women to try unsafe and potentially fatal ways to adopt their fetuses without medical supervision, by taking some medicines or composite recipes, which puts their lives at risk." the doctor said.

A report by the international organization "Doctors without borders", published this year, indicated that the following consequences of abortion are enormous, as a result, up to seven million women and girls enter hospitals each year.

The international organization noted in its report "Some of them are permanently disabled, while others cannot get pregnant again."


According to the report, the real extent of this harm remains vague, especially since many women and girls are afraid to ask for help or can't get the care they need.

Although the doctors in Kobani confirm that they didn’t face any deaths of pregnant women, but a report of the International Organization confirms that "unsafe abortion is a cause of death for a woman of 1 in 12 mothers around the world."


Recently, in Kobani, some women's organizations and institutions have set up a committee to monitor cases of induced abortion and fetuses' death as one of the impacts of war on pregnant women.


Dajla Haidar a researcher at the Jinolocia Foundation, (a women's science) an institution that cares about research on women and domestic violence in Roj Ava northeast of Syria, says: "They are working to decrease or reduce abortions through educational lectures and guiding instructions for pregnant women through visits to women's groups, in the hospitals and villages near the areas of military engagement."


Haidar notes that in coordination with "The Star Union conference" and "Sarah against violence against women" they are working closely to document and monitor cases in all regions, to be addressed to global organizations dealing with women, pregnant women and children to help them reduce the phenomenon of spontaneous and induced abortion and fetal death in their regions.


According to statistics, the Kurdish researcher works on it, she reached a result with her colleagues that induced abortions in the region have increased by 15% compared to previous years, most are displaced and women of the poor class.

Mona Abdel Salam, an administrative member of the "Sarah against violence against Women" organization, says " the most who face the difficulties during the war and displacement are women, especially pregnant, so, they need special care, such as health, psychological and social care."


Displaced women live in the open for days, and in accommodation centers with shared bathrooms, with poor living possibilities, extreme cold, neglect, disease increase and lack of care, all of this affects their psychological state, harms them and, consequently, those factors lead to increasing abortions, and also push them to think of aborting their own baby because of the difficult situation they're living in.


Abdul Salam confirms that the decision of aborting the fetus is for the mother and father to take together, but these difficult circumstances force mothers in this region to take this decision alone. How can she give birth to a child in such circumstances as we are going through? So, she is asking the international community to stand up against the rampant war and mass displacement and to protect women and children throughout Syria.


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